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Saudi Firm Leaves Iraq After Employee is Taken Hostage - 2004-07-16

A Saudi transport company says it has ended all operations in Iraq to meet the demands of militants holding one of its truck drivers hostage.

In a statement broadcast over al-Jazeera television Friday, the company said all its vehicles were pulled out of Iraq late Wednesday, and that it took the step to save the life of the abducted driver, an Egyptian national.

A senior diplomat in the Philippines says the head of her country's military contingent and 10 other soldiers are to leave Iraq Friday, and all other members of the group -- about 40 people -- will "be out of Iraq shortly." Insurgents holding a Filipino truck driver hostage say he will be freed when all of Manila's troops leave Iraq.